Carlos Vela states retirement is coming close, but he doesn’t know if he will finish his career in Los Angeles or elsewhere.
Vela, 34, knows he’s not immortal, and retirement lingers in the background; that inevitably comes for all athletes, even the best ones.
“I want to end [my career] well. I don’t want to be let go because I can’t play anymore.” Vela said.
“If my mind and body aren’t at 100 percent, I’ll step aside and let others step in. I’ve always been clear about that. I know it’s coming soon.”
Is Carlos Vela a LAFC legend?
Vela is a definition of a legend, and his numbers and performances are proof. He’s been at the club for five years and scored 77 MLS goals, 90 in all competitions.
In 2019 Vela performed at his best, scoring 34 goals in 31 appearances. He leads LAFC, their first-ever community shield. Sadly LAFC that year did not reach the final and lost to Seattle Sounders 3-1 at BMO Stadium.
But during the pandemic, Vela did not reach the levels and scored 14 goals in two years. However, in the year 2022, he returned, scoring 12 goals and leading LAFC to the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, and Western Conference Playoff.
As Vela’s role has shifted and his productivity ebbs and flows, he is realistic about what the future has in store, saying he’s in the “home stretch.”
“You get to an age when you can’t fool yourself anymore into thinking that you’re going to play five to 10 more years,” said Vela, who last played for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup.
“Now, each year, I have to take stock of my body, my mind in order to keep playing.”
Vela’s Decision Is Near
Now that his time is coming to an end, he only has one year left. Last year LAFC re-signed as a Designated Player through the 2023 season.
At the moment, Vela hasn’t confirmed his decision if he’s leaving elsewhere or staying.
Vela said there aren’t any other contract offers as he weighs his future.
“When the time comes, I’ll make those decisions about what’s best for my family and for myself and where I want to end my career,” Vela said
“Right now, I can’t tell you where I’m leaning. We’re in Los Angeles. We’ll see where we go from here.”
When Vela leaves the club, he will be considered one of the best players who ever played for the club.